Home > Soul Bound (Blood Coven Vampire #7)(7)

Soul Bound (Blood Coven Vampire #7)(7)
Author: Mari Mancusi

I shake my head. Luckily, I can give her an honest answer on that one. Don’t ask, don’t tell. That’s my policy. “Sorry, she hasn’t updated her Foursquare lately. In fact, I think she even lost her mayorship at the local Olive Garden.”

Bertha rolls her eyes. “Trust me, I already checked her Facebook. Even her MySpace. But you’re her twin. Can’t you… sense… where she is or something?”

“Please. The only thing I can sense is a super-annoying presence currently residing in my bedroom,” I retort, irritated at the whole “Twenty Questions” routine. Who is she working for? Someone else at Slayer Inc.? Pyrus himself? Does Teifert know any of this is going on?

She frowns. “Go ahead, be a bitch. You’re not going to scare me away.” She shakes her head. “This is the new and improved Bertha. And she doesn’t take crap from anyone.” She rises to her feet, staring directly into the mirror. “I’m back. I’m hot as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

She raises a fist in triumph then looks at me expectantly. As if she’s hoping I’ll cheer on her newfound sense of self-esteem.

“Um, yay?” I try. “Go on with your bad self, you hot mama you?”

She glares at me. “Laugh all you want,” she growls. “But you won’t be laughing once I have your sister and her stupid boyfriend in handcuffs.”

That’s it! I leap from my bed, grabbing her by her vest. “We’ll see about that!”

She smirks and I realize I’ve walked right into her trap. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she says with wide innocent eyes. “For some reason I thought you were supposed to be on my team. You know, the team that hired you for the job? The one that has the ability to wipe you off the face of the earth by activating the nano virus inside of you if you don’t obey their rules?”

Argh. It takes everything I have inside to let her go. But of course she’s right. I can’t let on that I’m more interested in protecting my sister than doing my Slayer Inc. duty—at least until I figure out who she’s really working for. After all, if I’m killed then who will protect Sunny?

Better to bide my time. Pretend to play by her rules for now. And figure out a way to beat Bertha at her own game.

“Of course,” I say brightly, gritting my teeth and wishing I could bite through that juicy little neck of hers and suck her dry. “I just meant, as a superior slayer, I’m sure to get there first.”

Her lips curl into a nasty grin. “Oh right,” she says. “Of course you did.” She chuckles. “But, you see, that’s not going to happen either. I’ve been given a second chance. And I’m going to use that chance to prove I’m the best slayer on Earth—no matter what I have to do.” She smiles triumphantly. “Even if that means going above and beyond—and staking your sweet little sister through the heart.”


“The Master asked that he not be disturb—”

“Suck it,” I interrupt, pushing past Marcia as I head toward Jareth’s office. Thanks to Bertha, I no longer have time to play her little reindeer games. I walk through the door and turn, shoving her backward so I can close it behind me.

Jareth rises from his seat, taking in my face with a look of alarm. “What’s wrong?” he demands, coming around from his desk. He gives me a quick hug, then ushers me over to his black leather office couch, sitting down beside me, holding my cold hands in his own. He searches my face anxiously. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“You’re not half wrong,” I mutter, going through the highlights of Bertha’s recent visit. (Or should I say lowlights?) “You should have heard her,” I finish with a moan. “She’s like, on this crazy vendetta to bring my sister and Magnus down. All to prove she’s worthy of returning to Slayer Inc.’s good graces. She obviously has no idea of Slayer Inc.’s real mission to stall Pryus until they can make their case against him.”

Jareth gives me a sharp look. “You didn’t tell her, did you?”

I shake my head. “No, of course not. I didn’t know if I could trust her with the truth. Not after seeing that cruel look in her eyes.”

“Right.” Jareth lets go of my hands and starts shuffling through the magazines on his coffee table. “Well, that’s something at least.” He grabs an issue of Afterlife and Style—the one with Race Jameson and his band on the cover—and starts flipping through.

“Am I boring you or something?” I demand. “I mean, hello, we’ve got a crazy slayer on the loose. Doesn’t seem to be the appropriate time for Vamps: Just Like Us?”

Jareth doesn’t respond at first. Instead he drops the opened magazine into my lap. “Is that her?” he asks.

I squint at the photo. “Um, no that’s the girl from 1,600 and Pregnant—that new reality show that follows vampire moms and—”

“Not her,” he corrects. “Her.” He points to the photo on the adjoining page.

“Oh my God!” I cry, staring down in disbelief. Sure, it’s a fuzzy photo—your typical night-shift vamperazzi, but the image is unmistakable. Bertha, getting out of a limo…

… with none other than Pryus himself, holding her hand.

“What the hell?” I look up at Jareth. He shrugs.

“If you believe the tabloids, the two of them have been hooking up for the last month or so,” he informs me grimly.

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